Give it the love it deserves, dammit.
When you read an article in a magazine, you’re not only consuming the words, you are absorbing an expressive blend of text, typography, colour, and imagery. Each of these components are meticulously constructed to envelope the reader in its message and draw them into the rest of the publication.
The masterful composition of these elements in magazines has fascinated me since my teenage years poring through the crude pages of Big Brother. Its vulgar fusion of content and art is the reason I got into design in the first place.
It’s shocking that this kind of attention is still so lacking on the web. We take our text and jam it into generic templates hoping to capture the attention of a passing reader long enough to notice that Cialis banner in the sidebar. Most online publications try to cook up as many short-form articles as possible to entice readers and jack up page views. When there is a feature article, it gets shoe-horned into the same templates with no special treatment or design love. It’s like getting a three course meal where the appetizer, the entrée, and the dessert are all dry roast beef with no gravy.
What happened to the concept of drawing readers in through unique, rich experiences and well crafted content and design? In a web saturated with partial thoughts and regurgitated micro-content, a movement toward meaningful commentary and thoughtful presentation is savagely compelling.
The mindset of quantity and efficiency over quality and experience has been a priority for too long. If a printed magazine can write, edit, design, layout, and publish a series of feature articles, departments, and ads every single month, there’s no reason we can’t do that on the web. In fact, I find it absurd that we don’t already.
Travis J Gertz’s Recipe for Appetizing Presentation.
- Well written content
- Scrumptious colour scheme
- Flexible grid
- Succulent typography
- Carefully pruned imagery
- Gather all necessary ingredients. Especially content.
- Read every word of content. Read it again.
- Imagine yourself swimming nude in a thick swamp of content. Note how that swamp would look and feel.
- Draw. Draw lots. Even if you suck. Especially if you suck.
- Gather all ingredients and mix accordingly.
- Let it marinate.
- Mix again if required.
- Season to taste. The details are important.